Question about pipes at end of drain fields


Can anyone tell me why and what two plastic pipes might be for that are coming up out of the ground at the end of a drain field? They look to be about 2 inches in diameter, are capped off and stick up about 16 inches. This septic system has a lift pump, not sure if that is relevant or not. I’ve never seen the two pipes sticking up like this here where I live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Please advise,


A long read, but you will learn alot about drainfield design…

If you are saying at the end of each lateral (instead of drainfield) than the first pipe is to access the shutoff valve (with a key similar to what is used to turn on public water at the street) for that lateral. The home owner will rotate the laterals by watching the height of the effluent in each lateral, especially need to do this in colder climates because the effluent will freeze at the access and stop up the lateral. Each failing lateral needs too be rested at least 3 months at a time to reduce bio-mat build around the lateral line, best to do this during the summer months when the ground is dry (only one lateral at a time). The second is a valve to open up to blow out the lateral and/or lift pump. The lift pumps pressurizes the laterals. These are poorly designed systems, in my opinion, because it is too complicated for the average homeowner to maintain. Mainly used because less laterals need to be installed and can be used in poorer soils. I do not believe my state even allows these systems to be installed anymore.

These are actually two pipes sticking up from the ground that are literally at the ends of the drain fields and they are both capped off. They are about 20 feet apart, 2 inch pipes that stick up out of the ground about 16 inches. The lift pump us up closer to the house near the septic tank.

Then I have no idea what kind of system that is. Several pictures would help.

Clean out ports are sometimes installed at the ends of the drain field lines so that they can be backwashed to dislodge any solids that might be blocking the weep holes. A getting nozzle can be inserted down the lines to flush solids back to the distribution box where it can be pumped out. I have no idea why someone install them 16 inches above grade though. Pictures would be nice.

Sounds like a pressure system. If so, the pipes are inspection ports. They are usually capped at ground level but I have seen a number of them left at that 16" height. There may be additional pipes that were cut off at ground level and capped. The caps can be removed and a new cap installed with a small hole that allows water to be shot out. Once the initial testing is done during installation, the drainfield is covered and the pipes are capped for any later tests or to measure the effluent in the drainfield.

Then again, it could be something else all together…

Does it look something like this? (This is from Jeff’s link)

Yes, they look like that and are located at the end of the drain field lines. Both are 2 inch pipe and are capped off.